Metabolism is what we generically call the mechanisms in our body responsible for turning nutrients into energy. The balance between food intake and the consumed energy, doubled by a healthy metabolism will result in a harmonious body. When metabolism doesn’t work properly or when we eat too much and consume little energy, we will face weight problems. The most affected are the overweight and the obese people who are often on the lookout for the lowest calories diet or the fastest metabolism diet.
Overweight became a global problem with 2 in 3 American adults and one-third of the children and teenagers being affected. Given the amplitude of the problem and the negative effects that obesity has on people’s life it is important the identify the most suitable diet for losing extra weight and for keeping fit after ending a diet.
One of the most popular diets that help metabolism speed us was designed by the American nutritionist Haylie Pomroy. The fast metabolism diet, as it is called, has helped people around the world lose weight and change their lifestyle for the better, but it has also opponents. Learn what the pros and cons of using the Fast Metabolism Diet are and who is more likely to be successful on it by reading this article.
Table of contents:
- What is a fast metabolism?
- How does Fast Metabolism Diet work?
- Do’s and don’ts during FMD
- How do I know if FMD will work for me?
- What to eat during the Fast Metabolism Diet?
- Fast Metabolism Diet plans
- Recipes for the Fast Metabolism Diet
- Myths and reality about the Fast Metabolism Diet
- Does FMD really work?
- Similar weight loss programs
- Which diet is the best?
- The bottom line about FMD
What is a fast metabolism?
For sure you have met those people who can eat for ten without taking into account any nutrition advice and still manage to look skinny. Sometimes too skinny. These people are what we call ectomorphs, meaning persons with an utterly fast metabolism. Lucky them, we may think, but the truth is that a too fast metabolism also may lead to health problems, most often because the people affected tend to eat a lot and unhealthy food.
The best is to fine tune metabolism so that we don’t burn more calories than what we need for our body to function optimally.
There are several factors which determine metabolism:
- Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories we burn while resting. The calories burnt through BMR make for 80% of the total number of calories burnt throughout a day, the rest of 20% are consumed when we move. Now it makes sense why a high BMR will help you stay fit even if you are not running for marathons or go to the aerobics each day.
- Thermic effect of food is measured in the number of calories used to digest the eaten food. The higher the thermic effect, the best for your weight. It takes between 5% and 15% of the calories to burn carbohydrates and between 20% and 35% to burn food rich in proteins. No wonder carbs are the no-go for many diets.
- Activity helps you in case you have a low BMR, by compensating for the calories not lost while your body was on pause. That’s why body activity goes hand in hand with nutrition when fighting overweight.
Metabolism can speed up if you adopt a lifestyle that gives priority to food scoring high at the thermic effect and if you insert in your daily routine sports or physical activity.
How does Fast Metabolism Diet work?
Unlike many other diets, the Fast Metabolism Diet relies on food meant to bring nutritional value to your body and speed up the metabolism. It doesn’t count calories nor grams; it just indicates you the larger groups of food you can consume by phases, within a cycle of one week:
- In Phase 1 (from Monday to Tuesday) you must eat a lot of carbohydrates and fruits. In this first phase, your body sets itself free from the stress. Cardio exercises are recommended during the first phase of the diet.
- In Phase 2 (from Wednesday to Friday) you must eat proteins and vegetables. It is the time when the deposits of fat are accessed and turned into energy. Muscles shape up during this phase. Liver and bowel may be overworking while processing meat and it is recommended to eat food that supports them, like alkaline vegetables.
- In Phase 3 (from Friday to Sunday) you can eat everything you were allowed to eat in the previous days and add healthy fats. This is when the calories burning starts to accelerate, and you will notice results on the outside but also on the inside. Your body is fully detoxing at this stage, and it’s recommended to go for smooth exercises like yoga, pilates or massages.
Adopt the Fast Metabolism Diet for up to 28 days to have noticeable results. After 28 days, depending on how much weight you need to lose, you can either repeat a full cycle, either just decide to go on a diet for one week every month, just to keep your pounds under control.
The Fast Metabolism Diet should include three main meals per day, plus two snacks. There are few forbidden foods like wheat, corn, dairy, soy, refined sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dried fruit and fruit juice. In exchange, fruits, vegetables, protein and fiber-rich whole grains should prevail.
The Fast Metabolism Diet can be the gate to a healthy lifestyle if you manage to follow it correctly and enjoy the recommended food while you’re dieting.
“Dos” and “Donts” during the Fast Metabolism Diet
Although a lot more permissive on what to eat and what to avoid than other diets, FMD also has some rules that must be respected for having good results.
What to eat and do while dieting?
- Don’t skip meals. You should have three main meals and two snacks throughout a day.
- Stick to the group of foods recommended in each phase. Don’t eat potatoes in phase 2 or almonds in phase 1 and 2. Small quantities of secondary food types are allowed, but they should not dominate the meals. For instance, you are allowed to eat fish in the first phase, when the focus is on carbs and fruits.
- Choose organic food as much as possible
- Drink a lot of water throughout the day.
- Exercise or at least walk as much as possible.
- Train yourself psychologically for the journey; find your inner motivation for losing weight. A strong motivation will guide you towards the best results.
What to avoid?
- Wheat based food: bread, crackers, wheat cereals
- Corn and corn derivated products: tortillas, nachos, chips, polenta
- Dairy products: milk, yogurt, cheese, butter
- Soy: tofu, soy sauce, soy products replacing meat
- Refined sugar
- Fruit juices
- Dried fruits
- Sugar replacements
- Setting unrealistic objectives
- Over-blaming yourself in case of stepping out of the diet’s rules
How do I know if FMD will work for me?
You may have noticed too: diets tend to come and go just like fashion trends. Unlike fashion though, a diet affects us not only on the outside but also on the inside.
The Fast Metabolism Diet made a big splash, and many celebrities adopted it for removing the extra pounds. However, this is not what makes Dr. Haylie Pomroy’s diet a hit.
Consider going on the Fast Metabolism Diet for several practical reasons:
- It’s more than a diet. FMD is, in fact, a set of nutrition principles which, applied regularly, may convert you to healthy eating on the long term.
- It is focusing on food’s quality, not quantity. You lose weight by eating because the food you consume has high nutritional value and helps your body balance its mechanisms.
- It is affordable. It includes food largely available on the market, which won’t cost you a fortune.
- There are very few contraindications for this diet. Practically any person that doesn’t have serious health problems can adopt it. Consult a doctor, though, before starting any diet and go through all necessary medical exams.
You should think twice if the Fast Metabolism Diet is the best for you if:
- You and eating discipline are not exactly best friends. You need to organize meals properly in this diet. It will not work for you if you skip breakfast, eat a bite at lunch and then the full fridge at dinner. The Fast Metabolism Diet includes five meals per day, three main meals, and two snacks, that you have to plan ahead, shop and cook.
- You are a fan of milk and dairies, or you deal with a lack of calcium, in which case, it is better to look for ways to integrate them in your daily meals.
- You are vegetarian. The focus on proteins in the second and third phase may deter vegetarians because there are limited alternatives to take proteins from the rest of the recommended foods.
Whenever you start dieting ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need it? Assess the way you eat. If you are eating healthy food and in a balanced way, but you still overweight, consult a nutritionist. He will recommend the proper diet for you based on medical examination, blood tests, and your personal objectives.
- Is it good for my body? Not all the diets bring in all the nutrients your body needs. Avoid diets that don’t cover all groups of foods like proteins, fibers, healthy fats, even sugar in a limited quantity.
- Am I willing to go for the long run or is it just an idea I have today? The biggest challenge when dieting is not getting rid of the extra pounds. The most difficult part comes after ending the diet, and that is keeping a constant weight. Keeping fit will require eating healthy on the long term.
- What is my real motivation for going on a diet? Needless to say that the right motivation must be your concern for your health. Too many people go on a diet to look like their idol or a model they have, to be able to fit in a dress on a special evening or because they think dieting is cool. None of these motivations will stand in the long term, and they will most likely sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
What to eat during the Fast Metabolism Diet?
The Fast Metabolism Diet defines in big lines the type of foods allowed in each phase. But in general, people don’t have advanced nutrition knowledge and may encounter difficulties in choosing the particular food for each stage of the diet. That’s why it is good to know precisely, by their name, the foods you can choose from in every phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
Recommended food in each phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
What to eat in the first phase?
In the first phase of this diet, the focus is on carbohydrates and fruits, so your meals will include for the first two days:
- Vegetables. You can select from a wide variety: beans, green salad, beets, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, eggplant, onion, peppers, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes.
- Meat: chicken, turkey, and fish should prevail.
- Egg whites
- Herbs to spice up salads or side dishes: arrowroot, basil, dill mint, thyme, parsley, oregano.
- Spices can include, besides herbs, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, ginger
- Grains: quinoa, brown rice, oats
- Fruits: berries, watermelon, oranges, pineapple, mango, apricots, peaches, kiwis, pomegranate.
- Water, plenty of it. It’s recommended to have half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
- Herbal teas (without sugar)
Besides the one already mentioned as banned for the whole diet, the foods to avoid in the first phase of the Fast Metabolism diet are:
- Fats like avocado, salmon, olives, nuts, seeds. All these, although they are healthy, should be avoided at this phase to allow your liver and bowel process light food and contribute to the overall body unwinding.
- High glycemic fruits and vegetables: bananas, dates, potatoes.
Recommended foods in the second phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet:
In the second phase, you should give priority to food rich in proteins and vegetables:
- Meat: chicken, turkey, beef fillet
- Fish. Include in your meals tuna, sardines, codfish, halibut
- Veggies, especially green, including salad, spinach, rucola, onion
- Egg whites
- Fruits from citruses family mostly: lemons, oranges, limes.
- Water and herbal teas for hydrating
Foods to avoid in the second phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet:
- Starch rich vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, eggplant, zucchini, sprouts
- Fruits, all types, except citruses.
- Fats, just like in the first phase, are left aside for the last three days of the diet.
Recommended food in the third phase of the Fast Metabolism diet
If you made it through the first two phases, you can now enjoy all types of foods you have eaten so far, plus add healthy fats contained by:
- Coconut or almond milk
- Seeds like chia, pumpkin seeds, sesame or sunflower seed
- Oils: coconut oil, olives oil, sesame oil, grape seeds oil.
Foods to avoid in the third phase:
It seems like there very few things forbidden in the last three days of the Fast Metabolism Diet, but you should limit carbs and never eat seeds or oils rich food like nuts and almonds roasted. That would put an overload on your liver and turn what was supposed to be the healthy fat into toxins.
Fast metabolism diet plans
The Fast Metabolism Diet has the advantage of being affordable, accessible and not very restrictive. On the other hand, this type of diet is quite generic, and you may need professional help and some research to make a good selection of your food.
Many free diet plans have emerged to help people adopt the Haylie Pomroy’s diet the right way. There are also paying diet plans as well as mobile apps that can help you evaluate if what you are eating fits the Fast Metabolism Diet frame or not.
It is always good to do a research and find out details about the nutritional value of the different foods, but double-check with a nutrition expert if you have made the right choices.
Portion sizes in the Fast Metabolism Diet
The first step in planning your Fast Metabolism Diet, after going through the medical investigations, is to determine the weight you want to lose and, depending on it, set the size of your portions.
What makes the Fast Metabolism Diet special is that the more weight you want to lose, the more you are allowed to eat.
- If you want to lose 20 pounds, you will have to eat basic meal portions, as defined by Haylie Pomroy in her book dedicated to the Fast Metabolism Diet.
- For losing between 20 and 40 pounds, you will have to add to the basic meal portions, another one-half.
- For losing more than 40 pounds, you will have to eat one and a half portions (just like those who want to lose up to 40 pounds), and you will double the quantity of vegetables. That will help you lose up to 60 pounds.
To accurately set your meal plan, you have to know precisely what a basic portion means for each type of food you will be eating during the recommended 28 days of Fast Diet Metabolism:
- Meat: 4 ounces for a main meal; 2 ounces for a snack
- Fish: 6 ounces; 3 ounces during a snack
- Beans: ½ cup
- Bread: 1 slice
- Fruits: 1 cup (for berries for instance) or one piece for bigger fruits. Here you will have to take into account also the size of the fruit itself. When we say one piece, it doesn’t mean eating an entire pineapple or pomegranate. Somewhere between 100 and 200 grams will do for large fruits.
- Smoothies: 1 glass. Keep in mind that the glass should be no bigger than 12 ounces
- Vegetables are unlimited.
- Herbs and spices are also unlimited
- Cooked grains: 1 cup during the first two phases and ½ during the last one
- Egg whites: 3
- Eggs (allowed only in the third phase): 1
- Oils (allowed only in the third phase): 3 tablespoons
- Hummus: 1/3 cup
- Avocado (allowed only in the third phase): ½ avocado
- Nuts, almonds (allowed only in the third phase): ¼ cup
- Guacamole (allowed only in the third phase): 1/3 cup
Meal plans during the Fast Metabolism Diet
If you know the standard portion size for each type of food, it is easy to determine how much you eat. What remains to unravel is what to eat on each day, each meal and how to combine foods so that you have a balanced nutrition.
You have plenty of freedom regarding the meals organization and the selection of foods, but just for inspiration, we present you a few meal plans for the 20 pounds extra weight category.
Meal plan for losing up to 20 pounds:
Phase 1 (Monday to Wednesday).
Breakfast: one glass of fruits smoothies
Snack (2-3 hours after the breakfast): one apple
Lunch: 4 ounces of chicken fillet with rice, as side-dish, one salad, and one fruit.
Snack (3-4 hours after lunch): one glass of smoothie
Dinner: 6 ounces of fish and one green salad
Breakfast: ½ bagel and one fruit
Snack: one glass of smoothie
Lunch: fish with green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers salad, and one fruit.
Snack: one glass of smoothie
Dinner: turkey steak (4 ounces), 1 cup of boiled pasta and one green salad.
Go to the gym for at least 30 minutes of cardio exercise on each day of the first phase. Cardio exercises include aerobics, Zumba, jogging, swimming, kickboxing.
Breakfast: a salad and one glass of smoothie
Snack: a piece of tuna steak (12 ounces)
Lunch: Turkey fillet and a salad
Snack: a fruits smoothie
Dinner: beef steak and vegetables
Breakfast: one piece of chicken fillet and a salad
Snack: one glass of smoothie
Lunch: Fish and salad
Snack: one glass of smoothie
Dinner: Chicken fillet and veggies
The type of exercise recommended during the second phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet is the weight training, meant to increase your strength and the size of your skeletal muscles. Focus on exercises that require endurance, like aerobics, weightlifting, bodybuilding.
Meal plan for Phase 3
Breakfast: chicken fillet with tomatoes and cucumbers, bulgur, avocado pasta spread on a slice of bread and one fruit.
Snack: ¼ cup of nuts and a salad
Lunch: Fish, one salad, 3 tablespoons of hummus and a fruit
Snack: One smoothie and a salad
Dinner: Beans, green salad, and ¼ of avocado fruit
Breakfast: one glass of fruits smoothie, tuna in natural sauce with veggies, oats, hummus
Snack: avocado and one salad
Lunch: Turkey fillet and salad, nuts and one cup of berries
Snack: one boiled egg
Dinner: salmon and salad.
Breakfast: one fruit, one piece of chicken fillet, quinoa, vegetables and 3 tablespoons of nut butter
Snack: avocado and vegetables
Lunch: Fish, salad, 3 tablespoons of almonds and one fruit
Snack: 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and vegetables
Dinner: beans, vegetables salad and a dressing of 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Throughout the last phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet, focus on chilling exercises like yoga, pilates and pamper your body with massages.
You can use the same type of food if your objective is to lose more weight; all you have to do differently is to adapt the portions size. For instance, if in the first phase, at breakfast, someone eating a standard portion had 1 cup of berries, you would have to go for one cup and a half, if you intend to lose weight above this threshold. If a basic portion of meat is 4 ounces for losing 20 pounds, for losing more than 20 pounds, you’re recommended to have 6 ounces of meat on a meal.
Things seem complicated with all these algorithms. In fact, there are just some simple countings you have to make and clearly set your goals from the beginning. The Fast Metabolism Diet that seems so full of common-sense and not restrictive at first sight relies on accurate data and requires plenty of precision and organization to be carried on successfully.
Recipes for the Fast Metabolism Diet
Now that you have a diet plan and a clear idea about the recommended food and the one to avoid during each phase, all you need is just a little inspiration in the kitchen.
Here you are a few recipes for food you can prepare during your diet. After all, dieting can be just as delicious as eating ice cream, pizza or pasta.
Smoothies are a constant of the Fast Metabolism Diet. A smoothie can make a great breakfast for kicking off the day full of energy, but also a nurturing snack between meals. There are plenty of options for preparing smoothies; below you have a recipe for one of the yummiest.
- 1 cup of water;
- 1 cup of oats;
- 1 cup of blueberries;
- 1 kiwi fruit;
- ½ mango fruit.
- Blend the oats until it turns into powder.
- Add the water and continue to mix until you obtain a homogenous pasta.
- Add the fruits and blend for another 1 minute.
- Pour the smoothie into a glass and ornate with some mint leaves.
You can serve this smoothie in any phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet and play with the ingredients for having diversity. Instead of oats, you can use chia seeds, rice milk or nuts in the third phase when they are allowed. When it comes to fruits, you can choose anything from the ones allowed in the current phase of the diet.
This simple dish can be served as a snack or light dinner. It fits in any of the three phases of the Fast Metabolism Diet.
- 1 tortilla;
- 2 small cucumbers;
- 1 medium tomato;
- a handfull of baby spinach;
- 1 egg white, ½ onion;
- 1 tablespoon of lime juice;
- herbal spices (parsley/basil/oregano/).
- Cut the onion
- Chop the cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage and the egg white
- Blend all the veggies and the egg white together with the onions and the spinach leaves
- Add the lime juice, salt, and herbal spices
- Grill tortilla for 1 minute on each side
- Wrap the veggies mix in the tortilla
You can serve the vegetables wrap next to a portion of hummus during the third phase of the diet or as a standalone dish during the first two phases.
Chicken fillet with brown rice, lime and cilantro
This is a dish with an exotic flavor, which you can enjoy at lunch or dinner, especially in phase 2 or phase 3 of the diet.
- 2 liters of water;
- 4 ounces of chicken breast;
- 1 cup of brown rice;
- 1 cup of fresh cilantro;
- ½ lime;
- Cut the chicken breast into smaller pieces.
- Boil the chicken breast pieces in 1 l of water where you have added ½ tablespoon of salt
- After 20 minutes, add the brown rice together with 1l of water, the cilantro, and the lime juice
- Add another ½ tablespoon of salt in the pot where all the mix is boiling
- Let it boil for another 30 minutes.
- Add the parsley, oregano, and pepper.
Serve it next to a veggies salad.
Tuna with green beans
Tuna is excellent on the Fast Metabolism Diet during the second and the last phases. Its benefits for the body are tremendous. Tuna is rich in selenium, B vitamin, proteins, phosphorus, and magnesium.
In combination with green beans, your body will receive a high quantity of A, C, K, B6 vitamins and folic acid.
- 6 ounces of tuna fish;
- 1 ½ pounds of green beans;
- 1 onion;
- 1/3 cup of vinegar;
- 2 teaspoons of salt;
- ½ teaspoon of pepper;
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil;
- green condiments;
- 1 l of water.
- Boil the green beans for 30 minutes in 1 l of water where you have added 1 teaspoon of salt
- In parallel, prepare the tuna for cooking: place it in a pot and sprinkle on it 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 1 teaspoon of olive oil and green condiments
- Cook the tuna in the oven for approximately 45 minutes.
- Crumble the onion and spread it on the tuna and the green olives.
Serve tuna with the green beans aside. Optionally you can spread the juice from a lemon on the tuna and the green beans.
This recipe will result in a dish rich in healthy fats. That’s why it is recommended only in the third phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet as a snack or for lunch.
- ½ avocado fruit;
- 1 egg;
- ¼ cup of nuts;
- green olives;
- 1 can of tuna in water;
- juice from ½ lemon;
- a handful of parsley;
- spices upon your preferences (pepper, oregano, basil).
- Crumble the avocado fruit. Make sure that you use a ripe avocado fruit so that you can crumble it easy and turn it into a mousse.
- Boil the egg and cut it into small pieces.
- Cut the olives into thin pieces.
- Chop the parsley.
- Mix the avocado mousse with the eggs, tuna, olives, nuts and the parsley.
- Add the lemon juice, the salt, and the spices.
This dish can be served as a stand-alone salad or as a spread on a slice of bread.
Myths and reality about the Fast Metabolism Diet
Misconceptions about metabolism
When it comes to eating and losing weight, things often get confusing because of the multitude of opinions circulating, some coming from experts, others just myths.
That’s why, when you decide to go on a diet, do your own research from reliable sources and don’t listen nor apply ideas that have no scientific backup data.
Some of the most frequent misconceptions about how metabolism works and how it impacts our body weight may compromise your efforts by cutting down your enthusiasm in following the Fast Metabolism Diet or make you quit on the way.
Metabolism slows down as we grow older.
It is true that, statistically, the metabolism slows down when we go into adulthood. But the age is not the direct cause of the metabolism slowing down. The problems arise because we tend to drop the physical activity, as we grow older.
Remember that as a child you are always in motion: playing, running, going to school or kindergarten, there are fewer static moments in the life of a child than in the life of an adult. The more you cut from the pause time you have during the day, the more your metabolism will work in your favor.
Certain foods and drinks boost the metabolism
If you rely on green tea, chili or coffee to speed up the fat burning in your body, you may be disappointed. Although certain foods may have a boosting effect on the metabolism, it will not be enough to consume them in order sees results on the scale. A balanced diet rich in nutrients and poor in sugar and processed food is the main thing that helps you burn calories faster.
The bigger the muscle mass, the faster your metabolism
It is true that muscles will burn more calories than the same mass of fat. But on the other hand, keep in mind that, when your muscles become more defined, as a result of practicing bodybuilding and other types of exercises, they also add up to the overall weight of your body. At the same time, it is not enough to build muscle. For muscles to work and burn calories, they have to be submitted to exercise.
That means that bodybuilding based on supplements, pills or other methods than sports will not have any impact on the metabolism.
Sleeping 8 hours a night will boost your metabolism
This misconception comes from extrapolating the effects of the lack of sleep. It is true that people who don’t sleep enough will tend to eat more, but this doesn’t make sleep a metabolism booster.
Eating less and more often will speed up the metabolism
This is the most dangerous misconception that a potential follower of the Fast Metabolism Diet could have because it comes in contradiction with the program’s rule of thumb: the more you eat, the more weight you lose. Our body has its mechanisms for resisting starvation. That’s why a healthy diet will rely on the quality of foods, rather than their quantity. Eat enough as quantity and frequence from a fine selection of foods – that is the key to succeeding through the Fast Metabolism Diet.
Does FMD really work?
Hard to say with precision because no official data is tracking FMD’s rate of success.
If we judge by the ratings and reviews that Haylie Pomroy’s book “The Fast Metabolism Diet” received, we could say that the diet may have had a success rate. The book received a 4.3/5 stars rating on Amazon. But of course, we cannot fully rely on online reviews and ratings.
The buzz created around the FMD can give you a clue about what to expect, the main challenges you may encounter and how you could work around them, the advantages and disadvantages of this diet. Real communities built up around the FMD where people share their experience in following FMD with their fellow dieters.
- Effectiveness in losing weight. The general vibe is good, many people claiming to have lost weight with FMD, even if not always as stated in the book.
- No starvation. Another strong point of this diet highlighted by followers in their reviews is that it allows you to eat plenty of food and never experience the sensation of being hungry.
- Precision. Many appreciate the luxury of details the diet’s author goes into, and they also highlight that they saw results after closely following the diet plans and avoiding the foods not allowed.
- More than a diet, a lifestyle option. FMD is also appreciated for its educational value on eating well and its potential to grow into a lifestyle if it’s correctly applied.
Here is what Craig Frank says on its review of Haylie Pomroy’s book, catching in a few lines all the advantages of FMD:
“I lost 16 pounds in 4 weeks, and eat plenty of food…never hungry. This is not really a diet. Rather, it teaches you a better way to eat healthy food, and eliminate the stuff that’s not friendly to your body”
FMD weak points
As with any other diet, there is also the bad and the ugly about FMD. The top disadvantages pointed out to refer to:
- The discipline required by FMD and possible difficulties in getting familiar with its principles. Studying foods recommended and foods to avoid, portion sizes, switching eating routine quite often across the three phases, all these are challenges that many people may fail to overcome. A busy schedule is a big problem preventing people from correctly following FMD.
This is what a working mom has to say about it:
“I strictly followed the diet and exercise program as instructed by the author and lost 8lbs. One of the most complex and high maintenance lifestyle changes I’ve ever made. I literally had to plan my life around eating 3 meals and 2 snacks without missing a timeline. Not easy when you’re a working mom. Also had to plan meals at least two days in advance to ensure I had the right “phase ” foods on hand. A lot of meal prep and planning. Some days it felt like all I did was cook and clean.”
- Low applicability on vegetarians is another frequent complaint about FMD. Phase 2 and Phase 3 require proteins and vegetarians may found themselves without alternatives and blocked in the first phase of the program.
“The book suggests to try and eat fish for the two days and if you can’t then do soy. The vegetarian menu seems to be an afterthought like she needed to market to that group of people. All the vegetarian option are flavorless and boring.”
- Lack of patience may backfire and compromise the diet’s success. A dieter must understand that there are thresholds for our body while trying to lose weight. When faced with changes, our body reacts cyclically with adjustments and resistance. At some point, the body stops responding to the changes made, and then you have choices: either persevere, either find new challenges (increase exercise for instance).
This is a feedback given by one follower who apparently faced a capped weight loss:
“Ok, lost 10 lbs in 3 weeks, but can’t seem to get beyond (must have to go the 2nd round as suggested).”
Similar weight loss programs
One of the biggest challenges after deciding to lose weight is choosing the diet to follow. The multitude of weight loss programs and the debates around all of them make it more difficult.
Let’s see which are some of the most popular diets and a few of their particularities that may help you assess them at a more advanced level.
DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet
According to U.S. News & World Report published in January 2017, it is ranked as the no.1 diet taking into account overall criteria used in the diets’ evaluation. These criteria include effectiveness in a short time span, healthy eating component, the level of difficulty, impact on major diseases like diabetes or heart diseases, plants dominance over the other foods.
So, DASH diet scores well on all these aspects. What is very interesting about the DASH diet is that its primary scope was not to help people lose weight. It was meant to help them stabilize their blood pressure. The healthy eating habits imposed by the DASH diet also lead to significant weight loss, and that can only be great for your blood pressure. DASH diet relies on a mix of low-fat, low-sodium, and plant-based meals and no more than 2000 calories per day, also depending on your age and lifestyle.
Weight Watchers Diet
It is very flexible, and it gives a lot of control to the dieter. Each food is assigned some points (called SmartPoints within the program), and dieters should use them as guidelines for organizing their meals. This points system gives dieters the sensation that they are not so constrained and have the freedom to choose the food they are eating. In fact, the dieter will tend to choose foods that don’t score high and that, in a big percentage, are also healthy.
The Flexitarian Diet
Just like the Fast Metabolism Diet, the Flexitarian Diet tries to insert healthy eating habits in the daily routine without imposing drastic limitations. Briefly, being a flexitarian means you are a flexible vegetarian. Someone who has a diet where veggies prevail, but doesn’t refuse meat from time to time. The Flexitarian Diet requires followers to include in their meals the following groups of foods without excluding any of the existing ones: so-called “vegan meat” products (tofu, beans, lentils, peas, nuts and seeds, and eggs); fruits and veggies; whole grains; dairy; sugar and spices.
It is one of the most popular diets in the last years. Its focus is on increasing the intake of proteins while decreasing the intake of carbohydrates. During Dukan diet, in the lack of carbs, the body will look for alternative solutions to fuel itself and, it is most likely that will access fat deposits to turn them into energy.
A similar principle is applied in the second phase of the Fast Metabolism Diet is, when proteins are enhanced in the meal plans.
It is well known already that people residing in regions with a Mediterranean climate live longer and better, being less affected by serious diseases. The inhabitants of Ikaria (Greek Islands) and Sardinia (Italy) are among the most long-living people on Earth. No wonder their eating habits have inspired experts to develop the Mediterranean Diet for losing weight, but also for gaining health.
The Mediterranean Diet is pretty straightforward and relies on a pyramid of recommended foods. You will find among them: fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, beans, nuts, herbs and spices, fish and seafood, chicken meat, eggs, cheese, and yogurt. Red meat and desserts are the main two groups of food to avoid. There is a big similarity with the FMD when it comes to the type of foods recommended, except for the cheese and yogurt which are excluded from FMD.
Are pills for weight loss an option?
The topic of the pills for weight loss generates many debates and some of them, like Orlistat, even made the subject of ban requests.
There are two types of pills for weight loss: drugs and natural pills. They claim to help you lose weight if taken in combination with eating diet and exercising or even without adjustments in the nutrition and lifestyle.
Among the drugs, the most frequently used are Orlistat, Naltrexone or Phentermine.
The natural pills for losing weight include ingredients like green tea, caffeine, chromium, conjugated linoleic acid or aloe.
The main ways in which this type of pills pushes your body to lose weight are:
- By cutting down appetite so that you go low on calories
- By reducing the absorption of nutrients
- By accelerating the fat burning process
On the downside, they have numerous and serious side effects that should make you think twice before taking them. Heart attack, high blood pressure, stomach aches and digestive malfunctions are some of the most unpleasant side effects. That’s why it’s recommended to go on pills for weight loss as a last resort and take them only under medical guidance.
Which diet is the best?
Diets based on low caloric food, diets with proteins, or even healthy fats. Diets, after diets. But, which one should you choose? Even experts have different theories, so it is hard for someone not initiated in nutrition to decide.
In this case, let’s rely on data.
According to a study published in 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine , people undergoing different types of diets have had similar results. 811 overweight adults were split into four types of diets that put different focus on fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, but didn’t exclude any of them.
In the end, participants presented similar patterns:
- They have lost, after six months, on an average 7% of their initial body weight
- They all started to regain weight one year after ending the diet.
- After two years, the weight loss was slightly bigger for followers of diets enhancing proteins and healthy fats than for those on diets enhancing carbohydrates
So, it seems that as long as all the nutrients needed for your body to work properly are part of the diet, you have high chances to succeed in losing weight. What makes the difference is our discipline and the changes we make, besides the food itself. Exercising, sleeping enough, eating regularly are also part of the weight loss plan.
The bottom line on FMD
There is no such thing as the best diet. There is only the diet that will work for you, and if you decide to give FMD a chance, you should take into account that it requires a thorough research on the foods allowed and banned, realistic objectives and a good planning based on them.
The fast metabolism diet can be the starting point of a healthier life as long as you take the time to understand the principles. Discuss with your nutritionist about the FMD, its advantages, and disadvantages and turn your fight against extra pounds into an enjoyable life-long journey.
-  Overweight & Obesity Statistics – National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
-  http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/best-diets-overall – U.S.News & World Report
-  The Greek island of old age – BBC.com Magazine
-  Live to 100: What we can learn from the people of Sardinia – Today.com
-  Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates – US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health